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Lyon stumble again on Gourcuff debut

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-29

France playmaker Yoann Gourcuff's first outing for Lyon ended in disappointment as his new club lost 2-0 to Lorient on Saturday. Leaders Toulouse picked up their fourth win in as many games, while Rennes beat Arles-Avignon to move into second.

AFP - Yoann Gourcuff's Lyon debut ended in anti-climactic defeat on Saturday as his new employers went down 2-0 at Lorient -- the side coached by his father, Christian.

Gourcuff Jnr was making his Lyon bow after his 22 million euros move from Bordeaux, but goals from Kevin Gameiro and Lynel Kitambala gave Lorient their first win of the season and left Lyon on four points from four matches.

"I thought he looked pretty fit," said Christian Gourcuff of his son.

"He hurt us in the second half; a bit less in the first half, as it took him time to find his feet. Thankfully he didn't score when we were leading 1-0.

"Lyon are missing a bit of understanding between the players but I'm not worried for them."

France coach Laurent Blanc this week expressed reservations about Jeremy Toulalan's conversion to centre-back and the former holding midfielder made a poor start to the game by gifting Lorient a penalty with a clumsy hand-ball.

Gameiro placed the ball down the centre of Hugo Lloris's goal to give the hosts an eighth-minute lead on Lorient's new synthetic pitch.

An injury to Cesar Delgado after 30 minutes saw Gourcuff pressed into action before schedule and he adopted a central playmaking role behind Bafetimbi Gomis in Lyon's 4-2-3-1.

Lorient continued to look more threatening in attack, with Lloris twice saving from Gameiro, but the visitors upped their game in the second period.

Jean Makoun saw a dipping half-volley punched away by Lorient goalkeeper Lionel Cappone and Bruno Ecuele Manga almost headed into his own goal from an inswinging Gourcuff corner.

Cappone then did brilliantly to deny Jimmy Briand by bravely sprinting from his line before Kitambala marked his first Lorient game with a goal by slamming in after Lloris had parried a shot from Morgan Amalfitano.

A reflex save from Lloris then denied Kitambala a second, while Cappone repelled substitute Miralem Pjanic and Briand as Claude Puel's team vainly sought a way back into the match.

"Yoann Gourcuff made an encouraging entrance," said Puel.

"He's not in top shape physically, but he linked up very well, he got the ball moving well vertically and he was just missing the final ball."

Toulouse maintained their 100 percent start to the season with a 2-0 win at Nancy.

Etienne Capoue broke the deadlock in the 68th minute, adroitly rolling the ball into the bottom-right corner after a neat nutmeg on the edge of the box, before Franck Tabanou made the points safe in injury time.

Alain Casanova's side lead the division by four points from Rennes and Montpellier, both of whom also won.

Victor Hugo Montano's long-range strike brought Rennes a 1-0 win at basement side Arles-Avignon, while Olivier Giroud's first league goal for Montpellier gave the southern side a 1-0 victory at Valenciennes.

Saint-Etienne climbed to fourth after a superb hat-trick from Dimitri Payet -- the first a curling, left-footed shot; the second and third low strikes into the bottom-left corner -- brought them a 3-1 win over Lens.

In Saturday's late game, Caen's unbeaten return to Ligue 1 was ended by a 2-0 defeat at home to fellow promoted side Brest.

Champions Marseille take their new strikers Andre-Pierre Gignac and Loic Remy to Bordeaux on Sunday, while Paris Saint-Germain travel to Sochaux.

Date created : 2010-08-29


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